Mood Boosting Week, 19-23 November 2012

Earlier in the year, we were inspired by The Reading Agency’s Mood Boosting Books initiative to provide a new collection for our students and staff.  We consulted The Reading Agency’s website and obtained their flyers containing two lists of books:  one reflecting books chosen by young people and the other detailing books recommended by older people.  These recommendations are based on books which readers have identified as having lifted their spirits and are definitely not self-help books.  There are some fabulous books on each list.  We obtained two copies of each of the young people’s books and one of each of the books offered by older people, took them to the staff rooms on both sites of our school and then to both libraries and much interest was shown.  mood_boosting_header

Click here to go to the page to find out a lot more about the initiative and here to find more information about reading groups (why not join a reading group for tea/wine, cake and book chat, all of which go well together!) :

reading groups for everyone

It’s so easy to forget how reading can transport you into another world, whether to forget about your worries for a while or to seek reassurance about the decisions you are facing, but, whatever the reason, we mustn’t forget that reading truly does give pleasure…

Read Vita Sackville-West‘s All Passion Spent and Annie Proulx‘s Bird Cloud from the list for older people and Michelle Magorian‘s novel Goodnight Mister Tom and Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery by Keren David from the list for young people…

all-passion-spent bird-cloud-by-annie-proulx Goodnight Mr Tom lia

Dancing ‘Round the Handbags (Lynne Copp)

Last week, on Thursday 19th April, we were lucky enough to be visited by Lynne Copp, author of the book Dancing ‘Round the Handbags.  She held two workshops at School: one during the afternoon for Senior and Sixth Form Girls and one in the evening for all members of staff.  She talked of how her book could be used to show women how to evaluate their lives.  Mrs Clancy, Head of the Girls School, has sent us this review:

Dancing ‘Round the Handbags is a self help book for women who want to reflect on their work life balance. The handbag represents the woman and the contents her different facets. The dance represents all of the day to day tunes a woman dances to and by reading through the book there are tools to encourage an assessment of  where you are, where you want to be, and most importantly what can be de – cluttered!

I read the book without completing all of the activities, yet recognise that it is a book that I need to go back to and to spend time working through some of the sections in greater detail. I felt it reinforced and encouraged, and is an easy book to read, it is easy to pick up when time and opportunity allow.

Definitely a book I will go back to and a book I would want my daughter to read as she begins to clutter her bag with all that is complex about being a woman!”

Further information on the book and the meaning of the contents within the bag can be found at

The Other Hand (Chris Cleave)

“We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy [or borrow!] it so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again — the story starts there…Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds. ‘Totally believable.’ — Daily Express ‘It would be hard not to romp through it.’ — Financial Times ‘Impresses as a feat of literary engineering…the plot exerts a fearsome grip.’ — Telegraph   Nielsen Book Data Online

Mrs Bailey at Kings Campus says:

“Story about a Female refugee, written by a man ( you would never know!!!) Extremely well written book and very thought provoking! Compelling reading. 4 stars.”

Mmmm, perhaps we should take a look, I’ve never read Chris Cleave before…